June 28, 2017

Hunting For Lightning: A Day At The GOES-16 Post-Launch Field Campaign

Image Credit: NOAA

June 28, 2017 – It’s mid-April 2017 and NOAA’s GOES-16 Field Campaign, a two-month-long effort to calibrate and validate the earth viewing instruments on NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite, has officially entered its second phase. As storm clouds gather, excitement in the field campaign operations center grows. The call was made the evening before. There is going to be a mission this morning— a hunt for lightning. Read More


EchoStar Mobile Joins European Space Agency And Space Industry Leaders In Promoting 5G Across Europe

June 28, 2017 – EchoStar Mobile, a subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation announced that it is joining the European Space Agency (ESA) and other space industry leaders in a joint effort to develop and promote 5G services, and to demonstrate the value that the satellite industry can bring to the acceleration of 5G throughout Europe. Read More


Michael Farrar Joins UCAR Leadership

Michael Farrar. Image Credit: NOAA

June 28, 2017 – The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) has named Michael Farrar as its senior vice president/chief operating officer. In this newly created role, Farrar will be responsible for strengthening the organization’s efforts in research, education, innovation, and outreach, ensuring that UCAR delivers the highest quality services to its staff and to the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Read More


Orion Crew Module Uprighting System

June 28, 2017 – NASA’s Orion program is evaluating an updated design to the crew module uprighting system, the system of five airbags on top of the capsule that inflate upon splashdown. In high waves or wind over the ocean, the uprighting bags are responsible for turning Orion right side up if the capsule lands upside down or turns over when it returns to Earth. Read More


GOES-16 SUVI Captures A Solar Eruption

June 28, 2017 – The GOES-16 Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) instrument captured this stunning imagery of a solar eruption on June 19, 2017. Solar prominences often appear as huge, arching coils of material, but this one had an unusual, highly conical shape, with the erupting material closely confined to a tightly wound bundle of magnetic field lines. Read More


ProStar Geocorp Announced As Colorado Companies To Watch In 2017

June 28, 2017 – Now entering its ninth year, Colorado Companies to Watch announced that ProStar Geocorp has been named a Colorado Company to Watch for 2017, acknowledging the drive, excellence and influence of ProStar Geocorp as a growing company in the state. ProStar, is one of 50 awarded companies that represents the state’s most innovative and impactful businesses that have moved past the startup stage and into a period of growth. Read More


More News:

Apply Now For Women Forward In Technology Scholarship Program
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

Are you a woman who is an undergraduate or graduate student enrolled full-time at an accredited university in the US, in a STEM field? If you are, you now have an opportunity to apply for a Women Forward in Technology Scholarship.


The Millennial Astronaut Who Wants To Go To Mars
Source: The Atlantic

Jessica Watkins, one of NASA’s newest recruits, says she’s ready—but only if there’s a ride back.


Kepler Has Taught Us That Rocky Planets Are Common
Source: Space.com

Rocky planets are probably a whole lot more common in our galaxy than astronomers previously believed — according to the latest release of Kepler Space Telescope data last week — a scenario that enhances the prospects for extraterrestrial life in nearby solar systems.


Stanford Engineers Design A Robotic Gripper For Cleaning Up Space Debris
Source: Stanford University

Researchers combined gecko-inspired adhesives and a custom robotic gripper to create a device for grabbing space debris. They tested their gripper in multiple zero gravity settings, including the International Space Station.


Southern Illinois Man’s Inspiring Journey To NASA And Mars
Source: Benton News

Joseph Oldham was a small-town boy with big goals and aspirations. Today he lives near Denver with his wife, Jessica, and their young son, Oliver, where he works for NASA’s primary contractor, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, developing the Orion spacecraft.


House Appropriators Propose $19.9 Billion For NASA, Full Funding For JPSS And GOES
Source: SpacePolicyOnline.com

The House Appropriations Committee released the draft FY2018 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill today, which funds NASA and NOAA among other agencies. The CJS subcommittee will mark up the bill tomorrow. The draft proposes $19.872 billion for NASA. Although the dollar number for NOAA’s satellite programs is not included in the bill, it does promise full funding for NOAA’s two major weather satellite programs.


The Niagara Falls Of Mars
Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Various researchers are often pre-occupied with the quest for flowing water on Mars. However, this image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), shows one of the many examples from Mars where lava (when it was molten) behaved in a similar fashion to liquid water.


Video: Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA) Jettisoned From Space Station
Source: NASA Johnson

Following a week of successful science operations on the experiment for the Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA), attempts to retract and latch the array were unsuccessful. The ISS Mission Management Team met Monday morning and made the decision to jettison ROSA directly from its current location at the end of the space station’s robotic arm, where it was fully deployed in a normal configuration.


Launching Cassini Leaves Legacy Of Lasting Pride
Source: NASA

As NASA’s Cassini spacecraft spends its last few weeks in orbit around Saturn before making a controlled impact with the planet in what NASA dubbed Cassini’s “Grand Finale,” some of those who helped launch the mission 20 years ago are thrilled with the success of the massive probe they helped dispatch to one of the solar system’s most intriguing worlds.


Video: Dark Energy And New Worlds: NASA’s WFIRST Mission
Source: Space Telescope Science Institute/Amber Straughn

Our everyday experience with gravity is that of an attractive force: it pulls things closer. But we’ve discovered a very peculiar property about our expanding universe: the expansion is accelerating, as if some repulsive force is pushing it apart. Why and how does this unknown ‘dark energy’ push the cosmos? This strange, fundamental question is one that NASA’s WFIRST telescope is designed to address. That same technology will also allow us to learn more about exoplanets in new ways, and will provide us with images that are ~100x larger in area than Hubble and Webb. The WFIRST mission will set the stage to usher in a new era of understanding about our universe.


TDRS-M Spacecraft Arrives In Florida For Prelaunch Preparations
Source: NASA

The next addition to NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) System has arrived in Florida to begin processing for its August launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.


MDA Announces On-Orbit Satellite Servicing Business Formation And Contract Awards For Spacecraft And First Life Extension Customer
Source: SSL MDA Holdings Inc.

SSL MDA Holdings Inc., a global communications and information company, today announced important milestones in its progress to bring transformational on-orbit satellite servicing to market. Space Infrastructure Services LLC (SIS), a new U.S. company, will commercialize sophisticated satellite servicing capabilities, including refueling.


SES And MDA Announce First Satellite Life Extension Agreement
Source: SES

SES to be first customer for on-orbit satellite refuelling service and have more flexibility, resiliency in fleet management.